Sunday, 13 February 2011

Looking out for Spring

My great aunt died two weeks ago, and this week I travelled to Norfolk for her funeral. I won't dwell on it too much, and I'm doing fine, but I wanted to share this poem from the service, which I thought was perfect...

Sorrow Has it's Season
Mourn not with a broken heart when friends and dear ones go.
For you the night of loneliness
For them the morning glow
For you the daily burden of the years that are to be
For them a new adventure in a world you cannot see

Sorrow has it's season. Nothing lasts,not even grief.
Every winter has it's ending - then the greening leaf
One day you will wake and say that time has eased the pain.
That is how God's mercy works
Spring always comes again.

I also found it so interesting that once again I was able to work through an experience like this thanks to my yoga practice (or maybe I should say "the perspective I have gained from my yoga practice"). No doubt it helps that, like with my grandmother last year, she had lived a long life (she was 92) and had reached the point where a recovery from a fall would have meant no longer being able to live at home. And afterall, this is the natural order of things. 
But in the church I was struck by something; to get the joy (thinking specifically of my beautiful nieces), you have to have this too. Without one the other cannot happen; it's the circle of life (damn you Elton John for making that impossible to say without inducing an earworm!). I also found myself feeling again this spiritual sense, remembering the words in Surya Das's book (to explain to cynics about reincarnation, he asks how is it any more incomprehensable than the fact that we exist at all? I think this can be applied to all spiritual concepts) when the vicar said that Elsie had been called Home. I thought that was a pretty beautiful thing to say.
Just as an aside, my fabulous auntie, though living in Norfolk, was originally from the east end of London, and grew up and lived around my adopted home, and the place where I practice yoga every day which makes me feel more connected somehow. The church was absolutely beautiful, in her quiet seaside town and overlooking the duck pond - but a very long way from Bethnal Green as I said to my sister. I also discovered via her eulogy that she attended a spiritualist church (I knew that) and trained as a healer (news to me). So not only did she live through the Blitz in the east end (and was in Bethnal Green when the tube disaster happened - and talking to us about it one day she rubbished the claims that the lady blamed for starting the hysteria would have done such a thing, Else knew her well) but she lived a pretty fascinating life, being bombed, living in a pre-fab, moving out of London under some sort of council relocation program in the 1960s, I believe I was once told that she had an Indian spirit guide, and is best remembered for doing high kicks at her 70th birthday party and generally being a very funny, fabulous and glamorous lady right up until she was 90 and her health started to fail. I'm only sorry I didn't take more time to hear her living history and to visit her in the last couple of years, but it's too late for regrets now, so instead I shall just think of her with a smile. And it's hard to be sad when you do that, and think about the words of the poem :)

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful poem, so poignant and so apt. Sorry to hear about your great aunt, but what a fascinating (and full) life she's led! I'd love to be doing high kicks at my 70th birthday lol. Gotta keep working on those hamstrings :)